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Renewed smoke alarm appeal after Canterbury house fire

Renewed smoke alarm appeal after Canterbury house fire

Find out more about getting, fitting, testing and maintaining a smoke alarm

27 June 2016

Firefighters are renewing their appeal to residents to ensure their homes are fitted with working smoke alarms.

This follows a house fire in Canterbury this morning (27 June), which caused extensive damage and left a man with burns.

The residents were on the ground floor of the three-storey property in Bicknor Close when the man smelt smoke and went upstairs to investigate.

He opened a bedroom door on the top floor and sustained burns from a well-developed fire that had taken hold inside.

The man and a woman quickly left the property and Kent Fire and Rescue Service was sent to the scene at 9.44am.

Crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the building and used a hose reel jet and a main jet to extinguish the fire that had spread to both bedrooms on the third floor of the house.

The fire, which is believed to have been caused by a fault with an immersion heater in an airing cupboard, caused severe damage to the third floor. The remainder of the property was damaged by smoke and water from burst pipes, which crews also isolated.

The man, believed to be 70-years-old, was given oxygen therapy by crews and passed to the care of SECAmb and the woman was also given checks at the scene.

Fire crews  used a positive pressure ventilation fan to clear smoke from the house and left the house at just before 11am.

Watch manager Paul Wood, who attended the incident said: "Unfortunately, the property had no working smoke alarms, so the couple had very little warning about the fire which is likely to have been developing for some time before it was discovered. We advise residents to ensure they have working smoke alarms fitted on each floor of their homes and that they are tested weekly, to ensure they will provide early warning in the event of a fire.

"If you suspect a fire has broken out on a room of your home, while it is natural to want to open the door to investigate, but we would advice you to avoid doing so, as opening the door as the air will provide extra fuel for the fire. As this incident highlights, this could result in injury and increase the risk of the fire spreading. If the door feels hot to the touch, we would advise you to leave the property immediately, closing the doors behind you and to call us out."

Firefighters will be returning to Bicknor Close this afternoon to provide fire safety advice to residents and provide information about the range of free services that Kent Fire and Rescue Service provides.

More information is available about smoke alarms and home safety.

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